Netball club joins Brook Way exodus

Brook Way Activity CentreThe relocation of Bradley Stoke’s youth clubs to the Brook Way Activity Centre has claimed another victim with the news that the Black and Blues Netball Club has “reluctantly” decided to move to a different venue.

The netballers first came into confrontation with youth workers just days after the youth club moved in on 5th October. Youth leaders “mindful of [child protection] legislation” are said to have been concerned over the large number of netballers using the building at the same time as “the youth”.

The incident is said to have led to acrimonious correspondence between youth workers and the netball club over the use of the centre’s toilets. Bradley Stoke Town Council later ruled that the netballers should be allowed to use the disabled toilets, leaving the others for the sole use of the youth club.

But the compromise appears to have failed to resolve the situation, with the netballers reportedly being unhappy about having to be “escorted to the loo”.

Town Clerk David Chandler told this month’s meeting of the Finance Committee that representatives of the Black and Blues had turned up at the [council’s] office “in a tearful state”, saying they felt they couldn’t continue to use the venue.

It is understood that the club will now meet at Bradley Stoke Community School.

Other hirers to have left Brook Way include the popular Weight Watchers group, which now meets at the nearby Wheatfield Primary School.

Councillor Julian Barge expressed anger that “an excellent paying hirer had been put off”. He added that the youth club contributes nothing to the council’s coffers and bemoaned the damage caused to the premises since the club moved in.

He urged fellow councillors to be “mindful in future that we need people who are prepared to pay for facilities” and concluded by saying that “the presence of the youth club is proving a very big headache”.

The relocation of youth clubs to Brook Way was the brainchild of Cllr Brian Hopkinson, who did not attend the latest meeting.

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